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Arts & Entertainment

Redford-Pfeiffer Winning Combo

Fri., March 8, 1996, midnight

After a record-breaking February, the lure of romance opened March with a bang. Let’s see if it lasts.

“Up Close and Personal,” starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer, captured the No. 1 spot at the nation’s box-office with an $11.1 million take, according to figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations Co.

The traditional love story follows an ambitious broadcaster (Pfeiffer) and the veteran (Redford) who mentors her in more ways than one.

In the runner-up spot, Kelsey Grammer’s comedy vehicle “Down Periscope” earned $7.2 million - proving that using the song “Louie, Louie” can salvage most anything.

Both debuts proved stronger than any of the recent top openings - No. 3 “Rumble in the Bronx” ($6.8 million), No. 4 “Broken Arrow” ($6 million) and No. 5 “Happy Gilmore” ($4.81 million).

February, on the strength of 17 releases (up from 13 in 1995), grossed a record $389 million. Many of the films among the top 20 are either comedies or action/thrillers.

The exceptions include the Oscarnominated entries “Dead Man Walking” (No. 9, $2.1 million, 10-week total of $24.1 million), “Sense and Sensibility” (No. 11, $1.6 million, 12-week total of $34.6 million), “Leaving Las Vegas” (No. 13, $1.31 million, 19-week total of $25.2 million) and “The Postman” (No. 19, $760,000, 38-week total of $13.2 million).

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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